Sneezing, itchy throat and runny nose aren’t the only symptoms of seasonal allergies, commonly referred to as hay fever.
In fact, your eyes are just as likely to react to allergens in the air as your nose and throat. If you’re suffering from puffy, swollen, red or itchy eyes, it may be because of an allergic reaction. Here’s how to get some relief: • Take an antihistamine. The best way to get some relief from seasonal allergies is to treat the allergy itself. Over-the-counter antihistamines prevent your body from reacting to histamine, the substance responsible for the symptoms of an allergic reaction. These medications have a reputation for making you sleepy, but not all formulations have this side effect. • Apply a cool compress. This may provide some relief to swollen, itchy eyes. Simply wet a clean, lint free cloth with cold water and hold it on your eyes for five to 10 minutes. • Use eye drops. Lubricating drops can relieve the gritty feeling many people get when suffering from eye allergies. Antihistamine eyedrops can also help by flushing out allergens and stopping the reaction at the same time. • Avoid the allergen. If at all possible, stay away from the source of your seasonal allergies. If you can’t avoid it, take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you get home in order to minimize symptoms. • Keep your house clean. During allergy season, keep your windows and doors closed in order to stop allergens from entering your home. You should also vacuum and mop more frequently in order to remove any allergens that make their way in. • Don’t wear your contacts. Contact lenses can trap allergens right up against the surface of your eyes, making symptoms considerably worse. If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, avoid wearing your contacts until you feel better. • Wear sunglasses outdoors. Sunglasses can shield your eyes from pollen and other allergens when you’re outdoors. Larger, wrap around styles are best. • Visit your optometrist. If your eye allergy symptoms persist, make an appointment with your optometrist for an ocular health exam to ensure your symptoms aren’t caused by something else than allergies. Eye care for the whole family At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc, we take your family’s eye health seriously. Call one our locations today to make an appointment for a routine eye exam, ocular health exam or pediatric eye exam.